POEMS by JAMES LYNN BARTZ
Albert L. Bartz and son, Albert T. Bartz -- Locomotive engineers, Southern Pacific Co.
Arrival of the Golden State Limited, Union Station, El Paso, Texas, 1950
A Depot Symphony
Copyright 2022, by The Westbound Stage
(Allegro Moderato, I think)
For explanations, hover over any GREEN text.
Listen to the tick and tock,
Rhythm from a lazy clock.
Counting off my working years,
Playing music in my ears.
Give the order board a yank,
Hear it creak, and moan, and clank.
Ringing from the city 'phone
Echoes with a mellow tone.
Distant whistle, click, and clack,
Varnish coming down the track.
Grab a hoop and clearance form.
Clear the board and brave the storm.
Huff and chuff and groan and hiss,
Hoist it high, so 'E' won't miss.
Clearance, orders, one to spare --
Now, "E's" puttin' on the air.
"Something here is not complete!"
Harmonize the 'C' and 'E.'
Now, my ticker skips a beat
Of the Depot Symphony.
Strike a match, then drip, and stamp,
Press it while the wax is damp.
Screen door creaks, and then a slam,
Time to send a telegram.
Syncopate and pound the brass,
Resonate the sounder's sass,
Now, another click and clatter,
"25" with DS chatter.
I can't read a music sheet.
Any maestro would agree.
Neither is a waltz as sweet
As a Depot Symphony.
So, enjoy your hi-fi sound,
Conversation has been drowned.
Play your rock 'n rollin' toys,
With their wild gyrating noise.
Just give me an order shack
Down along some lonely track.
There's a train! You'd best get on!
Must be yours, 'cause mine is gone.
When OS'ed by heaven's bay,
I'll know there's a place for me
As I hear the Agent play
That old Depot Symphony.
(James Lynn Bartz)
* * * 73 * * *
A Book About Railroad Depots
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